New research shows toddlers lose sleep over touchscreens

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If you hand your toddler your tablet or phone to buy yourself a moment of peace and quiet, you may be losing out on precious toddler sleep time come sundown. 

According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, every hour of touchscreen usage in a child under the age of 3 was linked to 15 minutes less sleep.

Researchers from Birkbeck, University of London found that 75 percent of toddlers used a touchscreen on a daily basis. That’s 51 percent of those between six and 11 months, and 92 percent of those between 25 and 36 months as well. 

But the study’s authors aren't condemning screentime. Their research shows that using touchscreens actually improves fine motor skill development. (Note that the applies to interacting with the screen, not just watching it.) Parents just need to be aware and monitor their toddler’s usage. The technology is still so new, there’s much more research to be done. 

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